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Recruiting and Retaining High-Quality, Diverse Faculty

Academic Senate and Academic Affairs Retreat Addresses Issue

Sept. 17, 2013

Group of faculty listening

More than 100 faculty, administrators and staff, including Binod Tiwari, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, attended the Sept. 13 Academic Affairs/Academic Senate retreat.

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More than 100 faculty members, administrators and staff convened Sept. 13 to discuss one of the major goals of the University's strategic plan: the recruitment and retention of a high-quality and diverse faculty and staff.

"Increasing diversity isn't an end onto itself. It's a means to enrich the perspectives and lines of inquiry that define our identity as a regional University with a global outlook," said José Cruz, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"And it's a means to expand our impact as an engine of opportunity, by providing pathways for a broader set of individuals to invest their time, talent and energy on behalf of the ideals espoused by our University," added Cruz , who discussed national and local contexts in recruiting and retaining high-quality and diverse faculty at the retreat.

Also speaking at the retreat was Lori Gentles, vice president for human resources, diversity and inclusion, who presented "Steps to Diversifying the Faculty and Creating an Inclusive Work and Learning Environment."

Jennifer Faust, associate vice president for academic affairs, delivered Educational Advisory Board and the Office of Institutional Research and Analytical Studies data on the issue, while Laura Gil-Trejo, director of the Social Science Resource Center, discussed a tenured and tenure-track faculty survey conducted during the spring semester.

The survey, sent to all full-time, tenure-track and tenured faculty, asked questions dealing with hiring, retention, tenure and promotion; department, college and campus climate; work-life balance, mentoring, sexual harassment and career satisfaction. It was commissioned as part of a National Science Foundation-funded study delving into the aims to increase the opportunities for women in STEM fields. Overseeing the study are Faust, Susamma Barua, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Dorota Huizinga, director of special projects at the CSUF Irvine Campus.

Table discussions followed asking such questions as "What are the strategies that successful departments use in recruiting pools of highly qualified/high-quality and diverse applicants?" "What are some creative approaches to overcome the obstacles that departments encounter in recruiting high-quality and diverse applicants" and "What strategies do departments employ to support and develop highly qualified faulty once they are on board?"

President Mildred García and Sean Walker, chair of the Academic Senate, gave opening remarks. Facilitators included Stephan R. Walk, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Development and secretary of the Academic Senate, and Emily Bonney, associate professor of liberal studies and vice chair of the Academic Senate.

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